Lab 1: Setting-up the ASK CLI for ACDL

Time required: 10 - 15 minutes

Welcome to Lab 1 of the beginner ACDL workshop about how to build Alexa Conversations by using developer tools. In this lab, you'll learn how to set-up the Alexa Skills Kit Command Line Interface (ASK CLI) for ACDL.

What you'll learn

  • How to install ASK CLI for ACDL

To install and configure the Alexa Skills Kit Command-Line Interface (ASK CLI), complete the following steps. If you have already tried ACDL, you can skip this section and move to the next section.


You need to have:

  • An Amazon developer account. If you don't already have one, go to the ASK Developer Console to create an account.
  • An AWS account to host your skill on AWS Lambda. If you don't already have one, go to AWS to create an IAM user account.

You also need to update your existing software:

Install and configure the ASK CLI

Step 1: Install the ASK CLI

  • From the command line, run the following command:

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npm install -g ask-cli-x
nmp install -g ask-cli-x
installation of ask-cli-x

Step 2: Configure the ASK CLI

  • To link the ASK CLI with your Amazon developer account and your AWS account, run the following command:

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askx configure
Configure the ASK CLI
  • Choose the default profile or enter a name to create a new profile
askx configure
configuring ask cli for ACDL

To troubleshoot configuration issues, see the ASK CLI quick-start page.

(Optional) Step 3 Install the ACDL syntax highlighter for VS Code

If you use Visual Studio (VS) Code and want to use the ACDL syntax highlighter, follow the instructions here. ACDL syntax highlighting is currently available only for VS Code.

Install the ACDL syntax highlighter for VS Code

  • Make sure you have the latest version of VS Code:
    • Open VS Code and click Help.
    • Click the update-related option, which might be Check for Updates or Restart to Update.
  • Install the ASK Toolkit VS Code extension (version 2.10 or higher).

  • If you've already the extension installed, update it to the latest version.
    • Open VS Code and click Code > Preferences > Extensions.
    • Search for the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) toolkit extension.
    • Click the gear icon, and then click Install another version > 2.10.

You can test syntax highlighting by creating a new ACDL file or by opening an ACDL project file.

To appreciate the benefits of Alexa Conversations, it is helpful to understand the complexity of designing a conversational user interface that works. If you want to learn more about Alexa Conversations have a look at How Alexa Conversations Works.

Continue to Lab 2 to learn about how to set up the development environment.

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